Here's my Minnesota Twins Shadow Draft for 2017. I have been doing this in one format or another since 1996. You can check the condition of the Shadow Twins system pre-season here.
Basic strategy this year was as follows:
***Add more high-ceiling arms to the system. This would require a specific focus at the top of the draft given that’s where the live arms would be found.
***There were two college hitters I really wanted: Brent Rooker out of Mississippi State and Will Toffey out of Vanderbilt. The college hitting class was pretty weak and those two stood out to me.
***Cheap/affordable picks in middle and later rounds, with a focus on seniors with a strong tool, either notable power or notable speed, who could be bargains and help the signing bonus stuff work out.
***For the most part, college players with strong metrics are the focus once the first few rounds are gone.
***I want guys who will sign in the 20+ rounds, so that means seniors or signable juniors instead of “courtesy” picks of high school guys who won’t sign.
This list is slightly different than previous versions but this is the final list and will not be changed. The Real Twins picks are at this link.
2017 Shadow Twins draft.
1) Hunter Greene, RHP, Notre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, California (Reds, 1st)
1A) Brent Rooker, OF, Mississippi State University
2) Sam Carlson, RHP, Burnsville HS, Burnsville, Minnesota (Mariners, 2nd)
3) Will Toffey, 3B, Vanderbilt University (Athletics, 4th)
COMMENT: This went exactly how I wanted. Greene won’t sign below slot like real Twins pick Royce Lewis did, but that’s OK because I wasn’t going to fiddle around with bonuses in later picks. This means the real Twins get Lewis, Landon Leach and Blayne Enlow while I get Hunter Greene, Sam Carlson, and Will Toffey. That’s a matter of taste I suppose. I had originally put Daniel Tillo in the third round but Toffey was actually higher on my list and there was concern about a late season velocity lost for Tillo, so the pick is Toffey. The real Twins picked Rooker so no change there.
4) Jake Thompson, RHP, Oregon State University (Red Sox, 4th)
5) Deon Stafford, Jr, C, St. Joseph’s University (Pirates, 5th)
6) Ricardo De La Torre, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy
7) Colton Laws, RHP, UNC-Charlotte (Blue Jays, 7th).
COMMENT: Real Twins pick Charlie Barnes in the fourth round is solid but I think Thompson (picked by the Red Sox) has better stuff and is a bargain here. Stafford was on my list of “potentially under-rated college players” as was real Twins pick Andrew Bechtold, but I went with the positional scarcity and picked the catcher. De La Torre is a real Twins pick I kept, while I simply knew more about Laws than the real Twins pick Ryley Widell.
8) Bryan Sammons, LHP, Western Carolina University
9) Brian Glowicki, RHP, University of Minnesota (Cubs, 10th)
10) J.P. Sears, LHP, The Citadel (Mariners, 11th round)
COMMENT: Sammons was on my college preference list so I kept that Twins pick. Glowicki is an advanced college closer with home-state ties, while Sears had some of the best pitching metrics in the draft.
11) Tra’Mayne Holmes, OF, Faulkner University (Diamondbacks, 11th)
12) Bailey Ober, RHP, College of Charleston
13) Shameko Smith, RHP, Polk State Junior College (Rockies, 13th)
14) Bryce Brown, OF, Jackson State University (Rays, 15th)
15) Orlando Garcia, SS, Texas Tech University (Giants, 15th)
COMMENT: I kept Real Twins pick Ober. The other guys were on my college preference list, each with one standout feature (Holmes and Brown, plus speed; Smith 94-95 fastball; Garcia excellent glove) while their real Twins counterparts weren’t.
16) Jake Walsh, RHP, Florida Southern College (Cardinals, 16th)
17) Frankie Rios, SS, University of Southern California (Red Sox, 17th)
18) Tyler Stevens, RHP, University of New Mexico (Angels, 18th)
19) Troy Dixon, C, St. John’s University (Mariners, 20th)
20) Osvaldo Berrios, RHP, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy (Athletics, 20th)
COMMENT: Walsh is a good athlete with sleeper markers, not surprised the Cardinals picked him. Rios is a sparkplug, Stevens pitched well in thin air, Dixon can field and hit well in college, while Berrios has a live arm and I always try to pick up a guy from Puerto Rico around this point in the draft.
21) Ben Fisher, 1B, Eastern Kentucky University (Marlins, 21st)
22) Joe Cavallaro, RHP, University of South Florida (Mets, 24th)
23) Devin Hemmerich, LHP, Norfolk State University (Dodgers, 26th)
24) T.J. Dixon, OF, Samford University
25) Carson Crites, 2B, Southeastern Louisiana University
COMMENT: I kept real Twins picks Dixon and Crites since they were on my college preference list. I picked Fisher because I needed someone to play first base in the Appalachian League. Cavallaro and Hemmerich are numbers picks.
26) Hunter Mercado-Hood, OF, University of San Diego (Dodgers, 31st)
27) Cam Warner, 2B, Texas Christian University (Tigers, 28th)
28) Jalen Washington, C, The Ohio State University (Padres, 29th)
29) Henry McAree, RHP, Lewis-Clark State College (Marlins, 29th)
30) Mac Lozer, RHP, University of Michigan (Mets, 33rd)
COMMENT: More college performers. I’m very intrigued with Washington, who was a catcher/shortstop in college and a fine athlete. I also like the Lewis-Clark NAIA program and always take a player or two in the later rounds from there.
31) Chris Castellanos, LHP, Stanford University (Mariners, 33rd)
32) Seaver Whalen, 3B, Lewis-Clark State College (Rays, 32nd)
33) Alec Byrd, LHP, Florida State University (Rockies, 33rd)
34) Cory Malcom, RHP, University of Arkansas-Little Rock (Cardinals, 34th)
35) Logan Farrar, OF, Virginia Commonwealth University (Athletics, 36th)
COMMENT: I just liked these college picks better than the combination of college picks and unsignable high schoolers the real Twins went with here.
36) Michael Brdar, SS, University of Michigan (Cardinals, 36th)
37) Jeremy Smith, RHP, Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Padres, 38th)
38) Robie Rojas, C, Sam Houston State University (Brewers, 38th)
39) Austin Jones, RHP, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (not drafted)
40) Austin Bizzle, RHP, Alabama State University
COMMENT: Bizzle was a real pick I stayed with.
High School: 4
Junior College: 1
POSITIONS: RHP 17, LHP 5, C 4, 1B 1, 2B 2, SS 4, 3B 2, OF 6
Teams: Real Twins 7, Mariners 4, Athletics 3, Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2, Marlins 2, Mets 2, Padres 2, Rays 2, Red Sox 2, Rockies 2, Angels 1, Blue Jays 1, Brewers 1, Cubs 1, Diamondbacks 1, Giants 1, Pirates 1, Reds 1, Tigers 1, Not Drafted 1